Trials

  • Grooms to be holding hands (photo by Tim Ryan Smith).

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.27.15

    * Should town clerks opposed to gay marriage be required to issue licenses to all couples? The Sixth Circuit says…. [How Appealing]

    * John H. Ray III, the African American ex-associate at Ropes & Gray who claimed the elite firm discriminated against him, loses in court again, this time before the First Circuit. [National Law Journal]

    * Vester Lee Flanagan aka Bryce Williams, the Virginia television broadcaster who killed two colleagues on-air before killing himself, was also no stranger to the legal system: he filed multiple lawsuits alleging racial discrimination. [New York Times]

    * Why are in-house lawyers more likely than their non-attorney corporate colleagues to fall for phishing emails? [ABA Journal]

    * Dewey know when the prosecution will rest in this seemingly endless trial? Probably today. [Wall Street Journal]

    * State judges get nasty with each other in Oregon. [Oregonian]

    * Federal judges around the country are advocating for a second look at how defendants get sentenced. [New York Times]

    * The Dilly in Philly: Paul Clement v. Ted Olson. [Am Law Litigation Daily]

    * A T14 law graduate turned “traveling artist” gets charged with criminal sexual assault in Chicago. [Chicago Tribune]

    * Speaking of sexual assault laws, Emily Bazelon explains how the St. Paul’s Rape Case shows why these laws must change. [New York Times]

    * Update: convicted Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes didn’t get just a life sentence, but 12 life sentences — plus 3,318 years on top of that. [CNN]

    * Linda Hirshman, author of the forthcoming book Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World (affiliate link), explains how Justices O’Connor, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor brought wisdom to SCOTUS (but where’s the love for Justice Kagan?). [Slate via How Appealing]

    59 Comments / / Aug 27, 2015 at 9:14 AM
  • Jared Fogle (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.19.15

    * This is a footlong you definitely don’t want (but it’s probably much more like a six-incher if he’s lucky). Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle is expected to plead guilty to child-pornography charges. We can’t wait to see what his plea deal with authorities actually entails. [CNN]

    * Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers filed a brief in favor of their client getting a new trial because his attack on the Boston Marathon apparently wasn’t a “crime of violence” within the meaning of the law he was sentenced under at trial. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “To achieve those solutions, wouldn’t it help if you had a free press?” Justice Ginsburg’s travels recently took her to Vietnam, where she spoke to a packed house about the country’s need for greater freedom of press to promote social justice. [Voice of America]

    * Here’s a little-known fact about Biglaw: many of its most well-known partners were “White House rejects.” For example, Willkie Farr, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Bracewell & Giuliani, and Davis Polk are all named after failed presidential candidates. [Am Law Daily]

    * A New Mexico criminal defense attorney charged with a slew of criminal offenses is representing himself in a trial having to do with his shooting of a man outside his office. His best defense thus far? The man was a “methed-out lunatic.” [Albuquerque Journal]

    167 Comments / / Aug 19, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Hulk_Hogan-RF

    Celebrities, Media and Journalism, Trials

    Gawker Body-Slams Hulk Hogan In Ongoing Litigation

    Gawker pins Hulk Hogan to the mat in the latest round of this bitter legal battle.

    32 Comments / / Aug 12, 2015 at 3:03 PM
  • Mmm, conspiracy.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.06.15

    * Another American doctor is accused of illegally killing another lesser-known lion in Zimbabwe, but this time, Biglaw is in the doctor’s corner. Apparently when you’re a hunter who’s become the hunted, you turn to Blank Rome. [Am Law Daily]

    * Where Dewey eat when allegedly conspiring to scam the firm’s creditors about its financial situation? According to testimony in the D&L trial, criminal activity reportedly tastes better when paired with fine dining experiences. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * At some point in the very near future, it’s likely that one or more new Supreme Court justices will need to be appointed, and some say that it’s obvious that Justice Don Willett, the Tweeter Laureate of Texas, is plotting a course to be a nominee. #blessed [Forbes]

    * The Fourth Circuit handed down an important opinion on cellphone location records, and it looks like the police need a warrant. Thanks for the circuit split. Quick, someone write a law review note before SCOTUS takes it. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * For some would-be law students, applying early decision may not be the right choice. After all, if you think you can get into ALL of the T14 schools, we bet you’d probably like to see if your huge ego is correct. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    9 Comments / / Aug 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Just when you thought practicing law was boring -- trial by combat!

    Trials

    Is Trial By Combat Coming To NYC?

    Is this a fever dream caused by a dangerous combination of limoncello and binge watching Game of Thrones? Nope. It is an honest to goodness, real-life court filing requesting a trial by combat.

    17 Comments / / Aug 5, 2015 at 2:15 PM
  • Alexandra Marchuk and Juan Monteverde

    Boutique Law Firms, Small Law Firms, Trials

    Alexandra Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi: The End

    The parties have written the final chapter is this long-running saga.

    37 Comments / / Aug 5, 2015 at 1:15 PM
  • Britney Spears (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.04.15

    * Her dad’s the ringleader, he calls the shots; she’s like a firecracker, she makes it hot: Since “everything is working perfectly” under pop star Britney Spears’s conservatorship — which has been in effect for the past seven years — it’ll likely stay that way indefinitely. [Us Weekly]

    * Well, that was fun while it lasted. The ABA did away with its year-old LSAT exemption rule in record time. Law schools will only have until 2017 to lard up classes with students who haven’t taken the exam. Good luck and Godspeed. [National Law Journal via TaxProf Blog]

    * Simpson Thacher isn’t the only Biglaw firm that allegedly blew it when it came to turning hundreds of General Motors’ secured creditors into unsecured creditors. Mayer Brown is also facing twin class-action suits for this $1.5 billion boo-boo. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * Good news, everyone! The ABA approved a merger between Rutgers Law-Camden and Rutgers Law-Newark, and we’re going to look at this in a positive light because theoretically speaking, there’s now one less law school out there. [MyCentralJersey.com]

    * “Are Law Schools Skewing Job Placement Numbers?” In a word, yes. Not to be a complete pessimist realist, but come on, you know most school-funded positions exist solely to prop up any given law school’s less-than-pleasing job statistics. [Bloomberg]

    * When you’ve taken the lives of so many, no one cares about your sad life story. A Colorado jury inched closer to inflicting the death penalty upon convicted movie theater shooter James Holmes in the second phase of his trial’s penalty portion. [New York Times]

    21 Comments / / Aug 4, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • plaintiffs lawyer 2 trial lawyer jury trial

    In-House Counsel, Litigators, Trials

    2 Outlines Of Witness Examinations: Learning From Mistakes

    It’s harder than you realize to draft witness examinations and many lawyers don’t realize the depth of their ignorance in this area, according to veteran litigator Mark Herrmann.

    32 Comments / / Jul 27, 2015 at 10:36 AM
  • Novak Druce's empty office?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.24.15

    * Most Biglaw firms are downsizing their office space, but Ropes & Gray just inked a deal to increase the size of its New York office by 40,869 square feet. It’ll occupy more than 300,000 square feet in Rockefeller Center. Hope the firm has lawyers to fill it! [Commercial Observer]

    * Yikes! Thanks to a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll, the newly formed Philly office of Novak Druce appears to have been left without a single lawyer. The firm decided to “refrain from commenting” on the departures. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * The same jury that found James Holmes guilty of several counts of murder in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre completed the first phase of sentencing and decided that aggravating factors existed for him to incur the death penalty. [Los Angeles Times]

    * A former court clerk in Indiana is suing because she claims she was fired for refusing to process same-sex marriage licenses, even though doing so went against her “sincerely held” religious beliefs. We may be seeing a lot more of these in the future. [Indy Star]

    * Per Texas prosecutor Warren Diepraam, medical examiners have ruled that Sandra Bland’s death was a suicide by hanging, and he has “full faith” in the autopsy results. The community remains outraged, and investigation into the case is ongoing. [NBC News]

    10 Comments / / Jul 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Willie Nelson (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.22.15

    * “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys potheads.” Country singer-songwriter and OG stoner Willie Nelson says marijuana will be legal in all 50 states within the next decade. Who knows, maybe his cannabis-crazed dreams will come true. [San Antonio Express-News]

    * Where do lonely hearts go? To court. This ex-Illinois Law student was accused of stalking a classmate and barred setting foot on campus for a two-year time period. A new trial was ordered, and now he may be able to graduate. Yay? [National Law Journal]

    * Law firms of all sizes are merging at a record pace, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue like this ad infinitum. Eventually, all of the fun is going to stop, and it’ll likely because there isn’t any more profitability to be had for these firms. Womp. [Am Law Daily]

    * Corporate legal departments are pushing for more diversity among their ranks, with companies like Xerox leading the way. NAPABA is hopeful that we’ll see 20 Asian-American lawyers as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies by 2020. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * For a man who wanted to “get rich or die tryin,” things don’t seem to be working out so well: Bankrupt rapper 50 Cent was busy denying ownership of many of his luxury items in court this week. He says he rents, borrows, and leases most of his bling. [Associated Press]

    14 Comments / / Jul 22, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • John G. Balestriere

    Boutique Law Firms, Litigators, Small Law Firms, Trials

    Always Try Your Case — So Get The Trial Experience Any Way You Can

    One of the most basic practices of the best litigators is getting ready for trial immediately, no matter how far away or unlikely trial may seem — but that also means knowing what a trial involves.

    / Jul 17, 2015 at 2:29 PM
  • 50 Pence None The Richer (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.17.15

    * “I don’t know what you heard about me, but a bitch can’t get a dollar out of me.” Truer lyrics have never been rapped. 50 Cent’s legal team will face off in bankruptcy court against lawyers for a woman owed $5 million thanks to a sex-tape scandal. [Business Insider]

    * You may be happy that income-based loan repayment exists and is saving you from defaulting on your law school debts, but in a few decades, you’re probably going to get F’d in the A by a ticking tax time bomb. [Student Loan Ranger / U.S. News]

    * If you missed it, James Eagan Holmes, the shooter in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre in Colorado, was convicted for killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. Next up is the sentencing phase of his trial, and the death penalty is on the table. [Denver Post]

    * The head honchos at Goldman Sachs are sad their second-quarter profits were reduced by ~half thanks to protracted litigation stemming from the financial crisis. The bank had to put away $1.45B for “mortgage-related litigation.” [DealBook / New York Times]

    * The stars at night may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but Berg & Androphy, led by attorney David Berg, is trying its hand at big city life in New York. It got the hang of things, y’all: B&A has already poached two Kasowitz partners. [Lawdragon]

    14 Comments / / Jul 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • '[W]hen you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.'

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.15.15

    * After closing arguments in the Dark Knight movie massacre trial, the case against accused shooter James Holmes now goes to a jury. He’s facing 165 criminal charges, and if found guilty, he may be sentenced to death. [NBC News]

    * A federal magistrate judge ordered the NCAA to pay almost $46 million in legal fees and costs to lawyers representing student-athletes in their antitrust suit against the organization, and he even likened the case to Game of Thrones in his decision. This is a monumental win. [Reuters]

    * Last night, SCOTUS denied a stay of execution for Mississippi death row inmate David Zink, even though his lawyers cited Justice Breyer’s recent death penalty dissent in Glossip with high hopes that the Court would act in their client’s favor. [National Law Journal]

    * For your information, the gender gap in the legal profession extends far beyond pay and partnership prospects. According to a recent study by the American Bar Association, about two-thirds of all attorneys who appeared in federal civil trials were men [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Going to law school in an underserved community that isn’t overflowing with lawyers is great for résumés, because the University of New Mexico School of Law is seriously bucking the trend of its students having difficulty finding jobs after graduation. [KOB 4]

    6 Comments / / Jul 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.14.15

    * With sagging enrollment and disappointing job statistics, offering students some tuition reimbursement if they’re still unemployed nine months after graduation is a great way to put asses in seats. We’ll have more to say about this news later today. [New York Times]

    * Testimony in the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial got a little more interesting when jurors learned that the plan to cook the firm’s books to the tune of more than $50 million was hatched after a pricey steak dinner at Del Frisco’s. Don’t all evil Biglaw plans come together after an expensive steak dinner? [DealBook / New York Times]

    * These people just won the criminal justice reform lottery: In case you missed it, President Barack Obama commuted the sentenced of 46 nonviolent drug offenders in order to shine a light on punishments that didn’t fit the crimes committed. [POLITICO]

    * Pay close attention to this information, gunners, because it probably applies to you. Per a new study conducted by two Colorado Law professors, LSAT scores are an “overvalued predictor” of future law school grades and résumé builders don’t matter. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Osvaldo Miranda Diaz, the lawyer who called Cuba’s criminal justice system “disgusting” during a presentation he gave to visiting U.S. lawyers, secured a full ride for Duke Law’s LLM program thanks to one of his audience members. Congrats! [Daily Business Review]

    13 Comments / / Jul 14, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Themis statue and handcuffs

    Crime, Jury Duty

    Criminally Yours: Waving The Freedom Flag

    It’s getting tougher to find jurors who understand and embrace the very rights the Constitution put in place to protect us all when it comes to criminal defendants.

    4 Comments / / Jul 6, 2015 at 1:14 PM
  • Gawker logo

    In-House Counsel, Media and Journalism, Privacy, Trials

    The Most Interesting In-House Job In The World?

    Meet Heather Dietrick, president and general counsel of Gawker Media, who’s now spearheading Gawker’s defense in the Hulk Hogan sex video lawsuit.

    16 Comments / / Jul 1, 2015 at 5:40 PM
  • Ben and Jen in less litigious times. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.01.15

    * Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are getting divorced — even she couldn’t stand the thought of him being Batman. Celebrity divorces don’t come cheap, and you know what that must mean: high-powered lawyers and even higher rates for their billable hours! [CNN]

    * “[H]ow young would you go…I’d do 5[,] [b]ut 0-12 is hot.” Well, that’s absolutely disgusting. Matthew Gigot, an attorney who does doc review in the D.C. area, was charged in a child pornography case for sexual performance using a minor. [FOX 5 DC]

    * The main line of defense as of late in the Dewey trial for the former head honchos of this failed firm is that everyone sends out embarrassing — and potentially incriminating — emails from time to time. We know all abput that here at Above the Law. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “Put down the bong, throw out the vaporizer and lose the rolling papers.” If you’re hoping to land a job at any federal agency any time in the near future, then you better quit your toking as soon as possible, even if it’s legal in your state. [New York Times]

    * Here’s some sad news for women who are interested in taking home their apparently delicious and nutritious placentas to feast upon after their children are born in hospitals: it’s only completely legal in three states — Hawaii, Oregon, and Texas. [The Stir]

    27 Comments / / Jul 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Hillary Clinton

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.23.15

    * Hillary Clinton is making a mad dash for Biglaw bucks to support her presidential run. This week, she’ll be at an event hosted by Sullivan & Cromwell, and next week, she’ll be at an event hosted by a Chadbourne & Park partner. Ooh la la, fancy schmancy! [Bloomberg Politics]

    * Dewey know why this firm failed? Back before D&L declared bankruptcy, the firm’s most successful rainmakers were asked to give up half of their gigantic salaries in an attempt to stave off the worst… but they didn’t want to. We suppose that’s the way the cartel crumbles. [Am Law Daily]

    * Bickel & Brewer, the fearsome Texas litigation boutique, recently broke up, and now it’ll simply be known as Brewer. John Bickel, who invoked the firm’s partnership retirement clause, is now ensconced as senior counsel at Fish & Richardson. [Texas Lawbook]

    * This career services dean is here to tell you a tale about law school job stats. You see, law schools don’t have an unemployment problem — instead, they have a “J.D. Advantage” problem (aka, jobs they took because they couldn’t get lawyer jobs). [Huffington Post]

    * This is yet another reason why people are considering Fordham’s Fashion Law LL.M.: “Every designer should have a minimum degree of legal literacy, if only to know when to seek a legal opinion — and to avoid being sent to sit at the kids’ table.” [New York Times]

    20 Comments / / Jun 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM